Jump to content


Premier Reporters
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by xccj

  1. Heh, there's a name I haven't seen in a while! Hello! Think we have the BZP 20th birthday coming up soon.
  2. In an effort to procrastinate and put something else off, I spent a little bit of time throwing this joke together. It's some entry fodder anyway, haha.
  3. Based on BS01 it sounds like the mask was only good for water; I recall somebody asking about this before and it getting shot down by Greg. But let's be honest, of the six original Toa masks, the Kaukau got the least amount of attention, with the only presented use of it on BS01 being attributed to only a semi-canon book. Part of it is that the power is passive when a character is underwater, and it's also far less showy than levitation or shielding. There are plenty of ways the Kaukau could've been actively utilized but the story just never seemed to care. (Heck, in 07 when there was a big deal about needing to breathe underwater they still didn't refer to the mask.) So canon wise it's really hard to tell what the limitations of the Kanohi could be because it was just never used. (Of course, BS01 says something about time limitations and inability to handle difficult pressures, although this was a retroactive explanation from a reference book released years later.) It was one of my favorite masks so it was always disappointing that it got so little use in the stories. Having the Kaukau work as essentially an air tank would make it particularly more useful indeed. And given some of the multiple uses of other masks, it seems like it wouldn't be an unreasonable extension of the mask's power. But if the power is only to extract oxygen from water as opposed to having a reserve of breathable air, then water would be required.
  4. Teacup ride with off-color statues or nothing at all.
  5. Protodermic Kanohi were only introduced in the Krana-Kal battle packs of 2003, likely as incentive for people to keep buying them even if they had all the other Nuva masks. If these packs were indeed from 2002, then it's to be expected that none of them were Silver. I don't think there were ever any crossover between krana types. Early 2002 has generic krana and gold/silver Mata masks, late 2002 had generic krana and Nuva masks, and early 2003 had krana kal and Nuva masks with potential for silver. At least, that's how the boxes that sold in the States worked. Interesting analysis tho.
  6. xccj

    Musings of an old man

    There was a ridiculous amount of celebrity worshipping that seemed to happen on the forums way back then that's really awkward to look back on. Combination of us being young and socializing the internet also being fairly new, I guess. From what I remember, you were always a cool and funny member. Glad to hear you're doing alright IRL!
  7. Metru Nui Mosaic by Jason, on Flickr Metru Nui, the City of the Great Spirit, the City of Legends Introduced in 2004, Metru Nui was the original home of the Matoran and the setting for both the 04 and 05 stories, and remained a focal point for Bionicle Gen 1 universe. This is created using the pieces of 31203 World Map. Well, not entirely; the additional dishes are pieces I added separately, and the set was short by about 100 coral tiles, so I needed to buy some more of those... but the majority of this model comes from the one set. When the World Map was first introduced, I immediately know I wanted to recreate one of the Bionicle islands with it. But, alas, a couple of different people beat me to remaking Mata Nui, so I decided to go a different route. Figuring out the backgrounds was a challenge with most of these map designs, because the oceans were what the colored tiles were meant for rather than the land. Some of the ocean designs I've seen have been just too chaotic, so I wanted something that was a little cleaner but still relevant to Bionicle. And as it would be, 2004 Metru Nui was associated with six Kanoka symbols for each Metru that would be simple to recreate and not too parts intensive. Each Kanoka symbol was made using two colors based on the selection from the set. Some of them were trickier to choose from than others. I was originally going to place them in a solid grid, but unfortunately that meant the ones in the middle would've been mostly covered by the island, so I moved them all around a bit so the defining details could all be clearly seen. This did leave a small gap around Ga-Metru, so I added a UDD symbol to fill in the empty space. The island is mostly made of white studs, but I wanted to make sure I included enough details to make Metru Nui stand out from Mata Nui, since the island shapes are very similar. Metru Nui is distinctive because of the many canals, chutes, and buildings. The canals were added using teal as the primary water color and shows the clear separation of the six Metrus. Tan tiles are used to form the Chutes that interconnect the island, creating pathways from one area to the other. Various buildings and towers were also included, and I recreated these using white dishes and set their locations based on various landmarks off some of the details maps on the island. Each Metru has a central hub facility that is slightly larger than the others, and the Coliseum rises out of the center of the island using a larger cone piece. This took me a couple of weeks to get the designs and colors selected. Then I waited until double VIP points to buy the actual set; after that it took me about five days of building sessions to put the full mosaic together, teasing it on Instagram as I went. I had to wait on a few separate orders to get the domes all finalized, but now that they're in I've got it all put together and photographed. (I mean, it's not the greatest photo, but it gets the idea across.) Since it's a fairly big and costly project, this one will probably stay together for a while and hopefully will show up at a few cons. It will most definitely be at BricksCascade 2022, and maybe I'll eventually fly it out to BrickFair. (It'll have to get broken down for transport but I think it's possible.) I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out. And for a quick summary, here are the colors I used: Ta-Metru: Coral and Medium Azure Ga-Metru: Medium Azure and Lime Po-Metru: Orange and Bright Light Orange Ko-Metru: Medium Azure and Lime (I'll be honest, I plan to switch the lime out for another color like Aqua, but I don't have the pieces for that yet.) Le-Metru: Bright Green and Lime Onu-Metru: Dark Blue and Coral Water: Teal Land: White Chutes: Tan Thanks for looking.
  8. Knew most of those buildings would be ridiculously overpriced. Aquarium was always of interest, and at least it's more affordable than the others. Fingers crossed that it doesn't have any issues making the cut. I do wonder how many AFOLs would go crazy for the big complicated buildings. Science Adventures also looks like a fun small set but I think it's going to get steamrolled in the competition.
  9. Oh no, I think that was the exact reason why they didn't advertise it; if you had known about the event, you would've put off your purchases and now they got your money but without the perks. And although a few places had predicted that the sale would be this week (and we didn't even get that estimate until a few weeks ago, so most of us were just assuming it would be sometime in October) there was no official conformation that it was happening until today... so yeah not advertised very well. I personally did put off getting the World Map set until today, and I've been waiting a couple of months now to grab that set... In general, Lego does a Double VIP promotion in October and April, although the exact times and lengths of the promotion vary from year to year. They sometimes do Double VIP for Black Friday too... or more specifically, VIPs get deals the week before Black Friday, and by the time the actual sales week happens all the good stuff is sold out. They usually have some decent gifts with purchase around that time of year too. The risky part is just because of worldwide supply chain disruptions, highly desired sales are selling out quickly, so if you risk waiting for a better deal then the item might not actually be available anymore when the time comes. Th pros and cons of trying to take advantage of LEGO deals, heh...
  10. So this is the end of my slog of prepared reviews to post. I got a plethora of new sets from the Summer release, so I’ll probably look into reviewing those in the coming days, but there’ll be more time needed so it won’t be like I’m spamming the blogs too much. Not that I think anybody’s really noticed or worried about that, anyway; it is kind of interesting that I used to gripe about all sorts of stuff here and now I mainly just stop by to post set reviews. I do miss the days when there was a ton of content in the blogs, but alas times are changing and people are moving to other social networks. And I’m just as guilty of it, especially because I’ve been taking these mini blog reviews and reposting them on BrickSet. I haven’t posted reviews on BrickSet in 8 years and they have a new system and everything. . . and yet I can skirt moderation because I posted so many CMF reviews (that were marked as helpful) there 8 years ago that I’m listed as a trusted reviewer. I still plan to do the big in-depth reviews on BZPower when I have the chance. . . which I ended up doing for the Ninjago Hydro Bounty last week. But I also like to give quick snippits on other sets without going the full mile I do for a front page review. . . and honestly nobody is seeing them here in my blog, but they might reach an interested audience on BrickSet, who’s inventory of sets remains one of the best on the web. (Their opinionated member base in news comments. . . that’s a different story.) Too bad they don’t seem to allow embedded Instagram photos, which is where I’m posting most of my picts for now. Of course, here’s the main event… 265 pieces, $29.99 More photos on (where else?) Instagram! This was not a scene I was expecting to be made into a set. But given that Korg and Miek don’t really show up a whole lot of places, so it’s hard to find a set for them to fit in. Something from Ragnarok, like the jail cells or rainbow bridge battle? Boring or already done in a previous set. They showed up in the final battle of Endgame but were basically just cameos, so if you’re going to get them in a set, might as well be in the one scene they were solely featured in. And so thus we get Thor’s messy room, also known as “it doesn’t look that bad compared to my place, heck you can even see the floor in places!” First the figs. You get three characters that are all exclusive to this set: Bro Thor, Korg, and Miek. Bro Thor / Fat Thor shows him without a shirt and with a big belly, whose printing overlaps onto the hips (although the coloring isn’t great.) It’s about the best you can do to showcase a chubby stomach in printed form; I would be tempted to suggest that they’d actually make an additional molded piece to create a 3D belly, like the fat-suit that Chris Hemsworth had to actually wear. . . but I guess that would be going a bit far for a humanoid minifig. The head and hairpiece are reused from the other Thor figs in sets this year. Next up is Korg, who is wearing a festive tan skirt with his rocky abbs visible beneath it. I think the headphones he comes with are supposed to be because he’s a gamer now. His rocky hair piece is exclusive, I believe, and does a good job of recreating this character as a fig. Miek was a bit more abstract of a character, so he only gets a printed minifig head atop a few studs. The flower studs give him some added texture, but he remains quite simple. The main room is pretty cluttered for a LEGO model but has a lot of fun details hidden around it. Pizza boxes litter the house, you have stuff like a frying pan, a whip, a pitch fork, an ore, and a shovel stashed on the walls. There are seem to be two boat models; one on the shelf above the couch and one above the fireplace. (Maybe they’re supposed to resemble something else, but I see them as mini sail boats.) Strangely, there’s a barrel next to the fireplace that contains trans yellow tiles. This is obviously supposed to be ale, but I find it kind of weird that alcohol is included in a LEGO set in such a way. Maybe officially it’s labeled as lemonade? The couch is the most interesting build of the bunch, featuring a few SNOT techniques to create the cushions. And then you have a lot of detailed stickers hidden around the model. The TV (nicely placed at an angle) showcases the video game, where Korg seems to be a playable character due-wielding Stormbreaker and Mjolnir. Noobmaster is making some comments on the side, and you even see the stud score at the top of the screen, representing many LEGO video games, even if that’s not exactly what they were playing in the scene, heh. (It was Fortnight, right? I dunno, don’t really have the time or budget for games like that.) I don’t know if the number for the score means anything, it’s too long for the set number anyway. A newspaper clipping is included talking about the blip. . . obviously New Asgard is old school if they’re still using print newspaper. Somebody needs to build them a website. The best sticker is the photo of Thor, Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek attached to the wall, a nice memento of their previous adventures. Once you’ve removed all the clutter, the room itself is extremely basic. The walls use a mixture of different textured bricks to give it a rustic look, and there’s a little stove in the corner. A fun bit of the design is cookie tiles and pizza slices are placed on the floor under other items like the couch, showing just how messy Thor has let his place become. The exterior looks remarkably plain, but the door does open to let you in, even if the ale barrel blocks you from entering too far in. There’s also a small signpost for New Asgard that’s supposed to be set up outside the room. (Full disclosure; in the photos you may notice I’m missing one of the dark tan windowsill pieces. It felt to the carpet while I was building, my dark tan carpet that it blends into too well, and for the life of me I cannot tell where it bounced off to. So, alas, I moved forward without it.) I think the minifigures are the main draw to this set, and the other pieces don’t necessarily excite me. There are a few fun sand green elements in the couch, and the walls used a lot of SNOT and masonry bricks which could be useful. Oh, plus the angled door frame is here, which isn’t new but I still believe it’s uncommon. The printed pizza tiles and game controllers are also a nice touch. I could’ve gone without the treasure chest however; I’m not a fan of getting the bottom half but not the top half. It’s a solid display piece that captures a lot of nice details from the movie with some easter eggs hidden around. The characters are great, but there’s a pretty big lack of action features here, so not really a set for playability. I feel this is probably aimed to an older audience who want to collect the figs, but I’m sure any Avengers / Thor fans will appreciate this set for what it is. And honestly, at $29.99, it’s on the cheaper end of things too. I wouldn’t say that this is the set to represent the EndGame movie, but it will do a good job of supplementing your Avenger collection. (And besides, we all needed an Korg fig even if we haven’t admitted it to ourselves yet.)
  11. 593 pieces, $49.99 More Instagram photos here!! I don’t mind that this is not called the Slave 1, but I do have to admit that this ship has been recreated so many times that it’s fairly ridiculous. Heck, I even made a custom Bionicle build of this ship already. And yet, I don’t have any copies of the actual model, so when I found this for sale at Costco I just impulsively bought it. Now I can at least add another classic Star Wars ship to my display. The two figs are Mando and Boba. Both are highly detailed (although that didn’t come across in my photos… everybody keeps complaining when I use flash or shine lights on my figs when taking photos, but when I try a more natural light setting the end results are too dull and blurry and photo editing can’t help. Sorry, mini rant aside, sorry for the lousy photo quality.) In fact, Boba has almost too much detailed printing everywhere. (I did forget the visor, whoops.) While Mando has some fancy armor printing on his shoulders, because I guess he managed to level up. There’s also a sticker of a Gamorrean in carbonite. The scale of this ship feels like it is way down compared to other variations, but it’s far more affordable so I can’t complain too much. And still, I think the design and coloring fits the shape of the original nicely. I am very impressed with the angled design of the “nose” or whatever, and especially the use of the wedge plates to hide the edge of the angle; the flow works so incredibly well there! Fantastic building techniques. The dark red bits are a bit less elegant, but they include a new wedge piece]. (Well, not brand new, apparently it was used in the Slave 1 of 2019, but it’s new to me.) The curved dark green pieces at the wing joints are also new and flow together nicely. I was also surprised at the use of stickers on the rounded nose elements; I don’t know if I’ve seen those with stickers before, but they work nicely. The cockpit also includes seating for a fig facing both directions; I know some of the larger sets allow the seat to flip around when you rotate it, which isn’t possible here, so we get a lo-tech version instead. Really, the only part of the ship I’m disappointed with is the wings, which are kind of sparse with halfhearted greeble. How could they have been improved… I don’t know, those wings have always looked iffy on the sets. A secondary model is supposed to be some sort of support hovercraft. It’s generally kind of bland, until you realize that it doubles as a stand to hold the starship upright. It’s a simple design but I’m impressed by how well it works. A nice touch, making it a mild play feature but also a usable stand. Very nice. The biggest factor for this set is probably the fact that it’s a scaled down model of a starship that has appeared quite often. And I’m sure many adults won’t want to downgrade to this, because I don’t think it necessarily brings anything particularly new to the table in terms of the ship’s design. But I’ve never bought any of the other models, and the scale works for the X-Wing fighters I already have on display, so I like it. Plus, it’s a lower priced model for kids who are just starting their Star Wars collection, and the figs are crazy detailed. A decent set; maybe not for everybody, but worthwhile to plenty all the same.
  12. 506 pieces, $39.99 More photos on Instagram. Ninjago always has to do dragons, and I’ve appreciated how they’ve continued to crank out various fun designs over the years. The Jungle Dragon brings on a slightly revamped design but with a lot of teal, so what’s not to love? Also featuring the new Island / Jungle theme, so a new round of characters! You get four figs: Jungle Lloyd, Jungle Zane, PoulErik, and Thunder Keeper. The two islanders share the same torso design, with grass woven armor and lavender skin. Thunder Keeper has a brilliant looking mask, while PoulEric has two stacked heads, which is a fun concept. The new Ninja outfits include some new rugged textures, and Lloyd shows off his new hairpiece. Zane also has a little sailboat mini-build, keeping with the Ninja boat designs for the theme. It’s compact but still captures the same essence as the larger catamarans. The most interesting part of the build is that the dragon comes with a angled bend in the middle of its back, giving it an odd bent appearance that makes posing it a bit interesting. This also means that the legs, which are fairly short and lack elbow joints (per usual), don’t have a lot of range of motion; they mostly need to be extended all the way down to keep the dragon’s lowered belly off the ground. I’m not entirely thrilled with the design. On one hand, it gives the dragon a somewhat more canine and playful appearance, but I have not been happy with the posability of the whole thing. I don’t know the best ways to fix it either; the bend in the body could be on a joint, but the design is built around a rigid structure and adding another joint might be too weak to hold it together during play. The tail design is again loosely connected via technic axles, so it flops back and forth (which again makes it kind of dog-like.) The wings are also very bare-bones and difficult to pose well. The head makes good use of the new mold elements, and the attachment for the jaw does allow for the tongue to hang out, which just solidified the dog-ness of this dragon. I’m not super impressed with the build, to be honest. And yet, for all that it’s lacking, this dragon has character!. The head is very expressive, the few poses it can be in makes it look more playful and less intimidating than previous dragons, and the teal and gold color scheme works extremely well. So, in the end, I have to say that this dragon is indeed worthwhile. Plus, lots of teal pieces and some nice figs (including an exclusive Zane) meant that it was a must buy for me.
  13. 340 pieces, $24.99 More photos on Instagram. Ah, BrickHeadz, they’re still around and still remaking licensed characters. I generally don’t pick these up for the characters anymore and mainly get them for the pieces. But my roommate is a fan of the series so I got it as a birthday gift. But as I’ve discovered, while he likes displaying Lego, he doesn’t actually build with it, so buying him a new set just means he stashes the box away untouched. So I prebuilt these, and decided to take some picts and talk about them before wrapping them up. (If he asks, I’ll just say that Lego sometimes prebuilds the sets in the box. I legitimately made that joke to another coworker once when I gave him a blind bag where I’d built the mini set inside ahead of time… and he believed me for months before somebody spilled that I was pulling his leg. Haha, fun times in the office.) Alas, by the time I got to editing the photos the set had already been wrapped, so I’m stuck with a few blurry ones. If you look at it cross-eyed then everything else will turn blurry to match and they won’t look out of place; problem solved. Scrooge himself is a standard BrickHeadz design. He comes with his blue jacket with red highlights, and a printed brick on the front. He wears a neat top hat and includes a beak and some additional tiles and slopes to represent his feathers. Oh, and his has tiles to stand in as his glasses. Fun stuff. (I almost made a Scrooge BrickHeadz as a convention trophy a few years ago but instead opted for Darkwing Duck. I wonder how long before he appears as a BrickHeadz…?) One of the more unusual bits is the wedge plates used as his flipper duck feet, which seems a bit awkward to me, like his legs are sprawling out in an odd direction. But I guess they’ve used it for the other duck BrickHeadz before, so might as well keep it consistent. Scrooge has two tiles to showcase his shoes, making it a bit different. The triplets are all the exact same designs but with recolors… which I guess is how they appeared in the original show. (I very much appreciated that the new show took the time to give them each distinct personalities. The original show was a bit before my time and so wasn’t my go-to nostalgic childhood show, but when I rewatched some episodes and the three kids were basically interchangeable, it kind of annoyed me.) Anyway, they use the smaller 3x3 design with cool baseball cap designs and some rounded tiles on their face to replicate the designs used on Scrooge. They use the wedge plates as feet too, and it’s even more jarring at this scale. Also… the back of their heads are double plated, with a full white plate and then another layer of tiles. To me this makes the back of their head stuck out just a bit too far, and I think one layer of tiles would’ve sufficed. And there’s plenty of connections to allow for that, so the additional plate wasn’t necessary for stability. Scrooge also uses the double plate width on the back of his neck, but for his size it’s not as noticeable. Honestly, BrickHeadz designs generally don’t get too impressive, but these four characters are easily recognizable so I think the process worked for them. And lots of nice extra pieces too, and it was fun to have the colorful triplets included instead of just Scrooge. If you’re a fan of the show, I think they’re worthwhile. (I’ll have to update you on my roommate’s reaction; luckily he doesn’t read this blog [like everybody else in existence, to be sure] so he won’t have the surprise spoiled here.)
  14. 276 pieces, $29.99 More pictures on Instagram Remember when the only Mandalorian set was the super expensive ship with baby Yoda that sold out in presales? Or something like that; basically, it was costly to get. Welp, now Mando and The Child appear in a small affordable set which represents everybody’s favorite sandy planet from the series. It’s an interesting choice but it works. The figs alone are probably worth the cost of the set. Mando has a lot of his fancy Mandalorian printing going on, although I guess he’s missing some of his fancier armor that other figs have printed on. Baby Yoda is the same, but this is a far cheaper way to get the baby fig. And there’s a Tusken Raider, who did appear in the show, so I guess that’s plot relevant! You get three mini builds; a speeder, a bolt launcher, and a small hut. The speeder has some nice greeble on it and allows for some interesting angles. Star Wars does enough speeders that I don’t know anymore how good or bad this one is in comparison. It works, I guess. The catapult thing kind of resembles the one used in the show; it also has some clip hinges that allow for some different angles to put together the “bow” and launch the spring loaded missile. The hut might be my favorite part, because it has a rounded design to create half of a rounded shape. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to continue it all the way around and make a full hut, but I think it works well for the small scale. The builds are decent but not super impressive; luckily they’re secondary to the figs, which are great, and they still add some play value. Did I pick this set up entirely to get the Mandalorian and Child for cheap? Absolutely. But the other pieces included are welcomed, so it wasn’t a blatant rip-off.
  15. 283 pieces, $29.99 More photos on Instagram The Tournament of Elements season was one of my favorite of the Ninjago show, so it’s cool to see a legacy set recreating scenes from it. Of course, the actual building isn’t super impressive; it’s a similar angled interior design that we’ve seen in other cheap Ninjago sets before, with the benefit of being two levels to allow for some vertical action. There’s fun placement of the various jade blades (including some hidden inside the white vases) as well as a compartment for the McGuffin book. Simple, but it works for the price, so I’ll take it. The minifigures are the obvious draw to the set, as you get a whopping 7 of them, including three brand new Elemental Masters for the first time. Obviously you need some of the Ninjas; Kai and Jay appear in their tournament outfits that are used across the Legacy theme. The chase fig in this set is Golden Lloyd, one of six golden figs placed throughout the Legacy sets that you’ll need to buy all of to form the full team. (I know I’m hooked on it, doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the marketing ploy.) In particular, this set had Lloyd’s new headgear piece from the Jungle sets, but it came out three months before those sets. Fun designs. You also get a Spinjitzu tornado and a handle to spin it around, a fun function to include in these sets. Also Eyezor makes an appearance as a filler baddie. The main draw are the three Elemental Masters: Bolobo, Gravis, and Jacob. Bolobo’s main feature is his beard, but he has a bare torso with some tattoos printed on him, and carries his plant staff. Gravis has a simple red outfit and turban, and his gravity powers are represented using purple dishes. Jacob, meanwhile, has a snazzy teal suit and his sonic guitar. Together, they help fill out most of the cast of Elemental Masters. (We’re still missing Chamille though.) As a build, this isn’t the most impressive set. But man is it packed with figs, so I think it is very much worth it. And the figs are varied enough that even non-Ninjago fans can appreciate them. Also like the green weapons pack included here. So very worthwhile one to pick up.
  16. So back in January this year, I was getting into the groove to start doing mini blog set reviews again. I had figured out the best way to deal with the pictures; cover shots saved on BZP, the rest linked to on Instagram, ext. Whole deal figured out, just needed to build, photograph (with mixed results, to be honest), and write. But then, my computer of 7 years crashed. After two months of trying to fix it with mixed results, I got a brand-new computer, and then I was busy setting up stuff on it, which meant reinstalling software, transferring files, ext. Well, then after almost exactly a month, that went down. Since it was brand new it was still under warranty so I was able to ship it off and have them fix it, but it was a graphics card issue, and of course graphics cards are in short supply thanks to stupid bitcoin mining stuff, so that was another two months wait before I was able to get my computer back up. (Which involved trying to organize a quick group mosaic organized without Photoshop to help me out, still glad we got it done in time for BrickFair.) This essentially shut me down from doing these mini reviews (and even a front page review too). I’ve still collected sets and taken pictures, so now it’s time to do a rapid fire posting of various opinion pieces of sets from 2021! Anyway, boring buildup explanation aside, onto my review ramblings!! 148 Pieces, $19.99 Instagram Photos This was one of the first sets I got at the beginning of the year. Honestly, I mostly got it for the pieces, but it has a solid build as well. Farming has been a Lego subtheme for a long time; I think even some of the pre-plastic Lego toys were tractors. (There was even an article about that recently.) Although it’s not quite as prevalent as Police or Firefighters, it’s a fun theme to revisit. (And better to have more farmers than a Lego City Police State.) You get three characters; the farmer, his daughter, and a bunny. Both figs reuse generic overall torsos, but it’s fitting here so I’ll allow it. The bunny is also fairly uncommon, and this is one of the cheapest sets it’s in. Plus, you get some carrots, an apple, and a pumpkin, so some neat food items. In terms of actual pieces, this set had a few new ones that caught my eye, particularly the 2x2x2 brick element with ridges on the side. The ridges match with the standard modified brick, but they’re on all four sides so it would work well in corners, and the 2 plate height allows for some new versatility. You get four of these pieces in black (used in the tractor’s interior) and four in tan (to represent hay) so that’s a good supply of a new element in a fairly affordable set. There also the new technic brick element, which I’m sure will have its uses. It’s mostly remarkable here because this is the first set it appeared in. The big back tires are also rare, only appearing in a large technic set. I guess the new 2x6x1 bracket in black was also rare, and the bucket element appears to be exclusive too. Like I said, a bunch of fun pieces, especially for a City set. The tractor itself is a satisfying build. The back area has some blue detailing in the interior, but the outside shell is predominantly red. The front loader has a simple but effective mechanism to scoop up stuff. There’s even a trailer hitch on the back to hook up more stuff. And the shaping makes it quite distinctive with a good flow using the curved slopes and arches. It’s a fun little set. I got it for the parts but still haven’t taken it apart yet, heh. Worthwhile for a City vehicle.
  17. Honestly, this was one (of many) problems I had with the Hordika back in the day. (The main one being that the sets looked ugly, and the story saying that they're supposed to look ugly didn't help anything.) To me, the Hordika did not have any clear animals they were based on. They were essentially recolored builds with different tools and masks, but the masks did not appear to be any particular animal. Yes, I always got rhino vibes from Nuju and reptilian vibes from Nokama and Matau, but it was all just a little too vague for my tastes. And that's not to say Lego couldn't have done better, because in later years THEY DID. The Barraki were not direct animal replicas, but they had enough design features that it was clearly apparent that Carapar was a crab, Kalmah was a squid, Takadox was a mantis, ext. Of course, in 2005 they hadn't got past the clone builds, but then you could look to the third wave of Hero Factory heroes with the animal motifs. The basic designs of each didn't change, but they had styled weapons that sorta matched their animals, and then they had very details helmets immediately made it clear what animal they were based on. The Hordika could've benefited from either of these routes. I'm sure it was a case that the sets were designed long before the story, so maybe that's where the biggest disconnect is. (Saying they're based on animals when the original designs were just sort of nonspecific "mutations"). But they gave us lackluster sets and kind of an annoying theme to explain them. 2005 was a lousy year. (Although as much as I dislike Web of Shadows, I do have to admit that the animation had finally improved on the third movie.) Obviously, these are my opinions, which are mine, and I know plenty of people would disagree with that, but whatevs.
  18. 10 - Vohtarak and 5 - Makuta of the Melding look pretty cool, but I think I have to vote for 3 - Le-Koro Platform for the sheer nostalgia.
  19. Back at BrickFair 2011 we had this crazy thing where we build a giant tower out of spare play bricks during one of the drinking nights. It was a crazy and memorable project from some of the earlier convention years (for me at least) so I wanted to recreate it as a MOC for this contest. Of course, the tower itself would be kind of a bland build, so I decided to also incorporate the tradition of PBZP, which was back when people would make MOCs of a bunch of members. I didn't get the whole group, but I got the lot who I'm still (kind of) in touch with today. And of course these are weird takes on their usernames and not actual depictions of them in person, because they are all really cool people and I couldn't possibly do them justice otherwise!! The Tower: Even with the system lettering and base, this still passes the technic ratio for BBC Contests because this thing is super dense with thin liftarms. It's a bit more colorful than the actual tower (which was made using a lot of white and brown bricks) and of course the lettering is different. But I chose some artistic deviations to get the same feel for it across. (I also forgot we added all sorts of weird antennas to the sides so those the flex wires were added in to mix up the texture.) Emperor Whenua: Always the regal type, so I gave him a crown and a fluffy scarf. I decided to keep with the Turaga route and made him hunchback but also super buff. Chocolate Frogs: He wanted a green outfit, so I gave him a lime coat. But more importantly, his brick-badge has a brown frog on it! Nuju Metru: He was always the most dapper of us all, so I tried to give him a fancy suit and jacket, almost it's not quite as flush as I'd like it. Had to give him the bowtie tho. Bionicle Raptor: I was trying to make him into an actual dinosaur, but then he ended up more like a really buff but wingless dragon. Me: Um, I tried to give him headphones and a green color scheme. Anyway, that's what I have for a MOC. Not exactly the most fabulous MOCs ever but I like how the scene has come together. And now to send it to BrickFair to be displayed 10 years after the fact!
  20. Heh, in case it wasn't obvious, this IS a set; this was made using only pieces from the giant World Map set, so you could buy that one now (if you could find it) and do this kind of alt-build yourself. As cool as this is, I'm a little jealous that they beat me to a Mata-Nui design because it was something I totally wanted to do with this set already. XD
  21. Okay, that was interesting, and fun to hear from a guy who was legitimately a fan. (Although there were a few parts where he was confused about something and I was like "oh I know where that's from..." so I dunno what that says about me, heh.) MNOLG music was really great, and I still have one of the tracks as a ringtone. Excited to hear that there might be a remix of it later this summer. Fun listen.
  22. Okay, you want it by year...? 2001: Gali Mata 2002: Kohrok 2003: Nuhvok Kal 2004: Matau Metru 2005: Matau Hordika 2006: Thok 2007: Mantax 2008: Pohatu Phantoka 2009: Vorox 2010: Um... I think it might've been Gresh Stars 2015: Pohatu, Master of Stone 2006: Four Way Tie! Gali, Master of Water, Lewa, Master of Air, Akida, Creature of Water, Uxar, Creature of Air
  23. But of course Andrew got Ninjago City Gardens to build.
  24. Hehehe, just realized Andrew mixed up his Looney Toons with Tiny Toons and said Babs Bunny instead of Lola Bunny. IMO this looks like a series I can mostly pass on. It has the same issues as the Simpsons waves; very custom head molds and very generic torso prints for the most part. There are a few elements that I'm interested in (cheese printed cheese slopes!!) but I'm not a big enough Looney Tunes fan to go all in. Honestly would not have predicted this as a wave of figs, but I guess they could do worse.
  25. Yeah, so this isn't quite a standard review, but rather a discussion about the theme and the TV series. I actually fell behind on the Ninjago TV series and recently caught up with it on Netflix. The shorter episodes were a bit off-putting, but they still tell a decent story, with the occasional break to focus purely on side characters. (And the fact that sometimes they switch to a more anime-like animation style was neat too.) The fact that the last season heavily focused on Cole was bittersweet after the passing of his voice actor, Kirby Morrow. For the character, I liked how he was able to connect to his mother's past as another Earth elemental, some of the scenes were pretty moving. And even so, plenty of the other characters got their chances to shine, which is not something all seasons of the show have been able to pull off. And yes, the action and humor is generally aimed for a younger audience so it would be mild for most adults, but I enjoyed how they incorporated all the sets and characters (and annoyed at some of the characters and locations that didn't get properly featured in sets. That fancy city had potential.) The best joke was also their take on the LotR quote with "You shall not... be granted permission to transverse beyond this point." More photos on Instagram Now, for the sets, there was the whole concept this year of combining them into larger portions to make a large board game. I ended up getting 71717 Journey to the Skull Dungeons, 71721 Skull Sorcerer's Dragon, and 71722 Skull Sorcerer's Dungeons. Journey and Dungeons have the bigger landscape pieces that look like they fit together the best (kinda reminds me of the Helms Deep set and then the wall extension set that were clearly made to go together.) Journey on it's own is lackluster, but it still provides a more substantial landscape than in the Dragon set. (And the Dragon set has better landscapes than the other sets, from the looks of it.) Still, the adjustable pathways are a bit of a mess when you try to connect them all, and I wasn't really able to get all the loops properly connected. It is nice to have a full set of the Ninja; always cool to see the team all together. And, of course, I tried to pair up all the dragons I had built with the Skull Dragon to show off it's massive size. Anyway, this was a fun theme for Ninjago and I think the theme is still doing alright. A new mech and dragon every year is fine with me, especially as the designs keep changing and bringing something new to the table. And the show still seems to be doing well; not bogged down too much in the story of previous years but still alluding to it when appropriate. (Although it is a bit annoying when they're falling and in trouble and we forget that a few years ago they had Airjitzu that they could use to fly). I look forward to see where they're going with the theme next.
  • Create New...